The latest inflammatory tweet by President Donald Trump claiming that the impeachment process against him was a coup is at least the ninth time he has suggested that he is the victim of an attempted overthrow.
Trump’s new coup tweet came a day after he wrote another incendiary Twitter post quoting an evangelical pastor who predicted that the president’s removal from office would cause a fracture in American society similar to the Civil War.
“As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
President Trump’s first reference to a coup came in February of this year when he quoted the Fox News contributor Dan Bongino describing an NYT report that former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Trump then followed up by quoting Fox News host Sean Hannity, who accused the former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe of having “admitted to plotting a coup (government overthrow) when he was serving.”
McCabe helped to lead on the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which included targeted surveillance of individuals associated with the Trump campaign who were suspected of conspiring with agents of the Kremlin.
In April, Trump tweeted a quote from Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo also referring to the FBI’s Russia investigation into which the Trump campaign fell: “Biggest scandal of our time – the coup that failed.”
Outside the White House, Trump told reporters that the Mueller investigation—which found evidence suggesting he attempted to obstruct justice multiple times—was an “attempted coup,” Politico reported, adding: “This was an attempted takedown of a president, and we beat them.”
Later that same month, Trump lashed out at the Russia investigation because people linked to his campaign were put under surveillance by the FBI, telling Fox News’s Hannity: “This was a coup. This wasn’t stealing information from an office in the Watergate apartments. This was an attempted coup and it’s inconceivable. Like a third world country.”
Then, in May, Trump tweeted out a quote by Tom Fitton, president of the conservative campaign group Judicial Watch, referring to the same FBI investigation, which became the Mueller probe, as an attempt to “overthrow the president through an illegal coup.”
At the end of August, Trump tweeted comments made on Fox & Friends by Bryan Dean Wright, a former CIA Officer, who said of the FBI probe that: “In 2016 we had a Coup. We have to take [former FBI director James] Comey and others to task. Makes no sense not to prosecute him. Comey got a book deal. I fear for my Country. He tried to kneecap our duly elected president, and there are no consequences.”
On the same day, Trump tweeted a clip of New York Republican Rep. Pete King on Fox News commenting on the Inspector General’s report about the FBI’s conduct: “One of the most disgraceful examples of an abuse of power by a government official…when you read this report…this is a systematic effort to go after Candidate Trump, President Elect-Trump, and President Trump….you could virtually call this an attempted coup.”
Following the latest coup tweet, Trump’s advisers, allies, and supporters have begun to echo his rhetoric in their media appearances trashing to the House Democrats’ move towards impeachment over the Ukraine-Biden affair.
“This is nothing less than an attempted coup d’etat,” Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said on Fox Business. “Should the impeachment process be used to depose a duly-elected president when they can’t beat him at the ballot box?”